If you gave a non-musical person a pencil and paper and asked them to draw an electric guitar, they will draw a Stratocaster every single time. And when I say ‘every single time’, I mean ‘most of the time’! The Stratocaster’s classic shape is what many people see as the ‘standard’ electric guitar shape. This is, however, not the guitar of Hank Marvin, but rather its less illustrious cousin, the Squier.
What’s the guitar like?
This guitar has an agathis body with a polyurethane finish. The neck is Maplewood with a 9.5-inch radius and a rosewood fretboard with 22 medium jumbo frets. The neck and the mid pickups are both single-coils while the bridge pickup is a single humbucking pickup. There is a switch with five different pickup positions to select from. The guitar weighs only 10 pounds. It is the world-famous Fender design but released under the Squier name due to the components which are built (to Fender’s own specifications) in Korea rather than the USA.
What sets it apart?
This is by no means the most beautiful guitar out there. Nor is it (anywhere near) the best constructed. It doesn’t have the best sound and it isn’t even the easiest to play. If you don’t believe me, just check out the competition at The Instrument Reviewer!
So why is it so famous? Well, this guitar is well known to many as the first electric guitar they ever played. It’s a great guitar to learn on and it’s a great guitar to learn about guitars with. You’ll still find experienced guitarists coming back to their trusty Squier Strats more than once in a while, too.
What’s so good about it then?
For one, it’s sturdy and durable. If you drop this (as young beginners may well do), it has a pretty good chance of survival. The shape makes it one of the most comfortable guitars to play in any position. The pickup switch allows you to get five distinct sounds and therefore this guitar can be used to play many different styles from hard rock to folk. It is actually the guitar of choice for those who like 90s American punk. The action, fit and finish are all usually described as perfect – possibly another reason that it’s become a standard among guitars.
What’s not so great about it?
Look, nobody is saying that the Squier is perfect, or anywhere near it. The day will come when you decide you have to put it down and pick up something else. That could be for any number of reasons. For one, it doesn’t sound great when played live. Pickups buzz too much, the top two strings sound weak when played with the humbucker, but sound to rich and full of attack when played with the front coil.
Overall, this is a great guitar if you want to learn to play or if you just want to bash out a few favorites at parties. It’s comfortable and durable and has a pretty wide range of tones allowing you a lot of flexibility with your sound. It’s currently rated on Amazon with 4.1 stars out of a possible 5.